|L-R: Sophie Raworth, Livery Dole aftersales manager Richard Curle, managing director designate Hayden Williams and Jewelultra’s John Boseley|
Mitsubishi and DFSK dealer Livery Dole are self-proclaimed “mavericks, but with a strong financial common sense”.
The business recorded a loss in 2012, which led managing director Nigel Clegg to close one of the company’s two sites in the South West. Livery Dole retained its Mitsubishi site in Exeter following the closure of the site in Cornwall and Clegg refocused the core operation to quickly produce improved results towards the start of 2013.
MOST IMPROVED COMPANY OF
The company engaged with its market, offering customisations of standard new vehicles to allow differentiation and prevent price competition. It also rigorously shares the business’s success and goals with all staff with a John Lewis Partnership-style arrangement.
Last year, the business launched a partners scheme for all staff, which centres around a year-end bonus. Clegg also introduced new daily operating controls at the Exeter showroom that enabled better performance monitoring and the ability to react to problem areas.
The result was a 44% improvement in new car sales, a 12.3% improvement in turnover and profits increased by 36%. The business boosted its vehicle health check conversions from 28% in 2012 to 42% in 2013, by developing its own branding and advertising.
The dealership also developed its own variants and customisations for models – offering upgraded leather seats on models where this is not normally an option, for example. This enables customers to buy a unique car, but also means they cannot compare prices directly.
The service centre has been deliberately developed to not be aligned to the Mitsubishi name, ensuring as wide a market as possible. Web marketing has been carefully managed, with much time spent on search engine optimisation.
The efforts of every member of the team at Livery Dole have contributed to the turnaround story and the business has a clear plan for the future to maintain success.
Highly commended: Tunbridge Wells Hyundai.
Also shortlisted: Mercedes-Benz Whitefield.
Previous winners: Sinclair Group (2011); Luscombe Suzuki Leeds (2012); Luscombe Suzuki Leeds (2013).
Category sponsored by Jewelultra.